Man has always been fond of traveling around and exploring the earth we live in. Yet once he moves out of his habitat into an unknown territory especially away from civilization the first fear that strikes his heart is that he is lost. He would then use many ancient techniques and methods to identify his location and finding the direction in which he needs to travel further. The use of heavenly bodies that surround and the earth have always proved to be a helpful entity in this regards, from the position and path of the sun, to the rising and setting down of the moon, and the galaxy of stars that humans can see on a clear sky night. Different civilizations of mankind have always made use of these references for traveling in the day and night.
By the end of the 20th century science and technology had evolved to an extent that he came up with the desire to make his own reference and navigational system. A system that would support his cause 24 hours a day, 360 days a year with no dependence on visibility and weather. This desire give way to a remarkable invention that we is known to us today as ‘Global Positioning System’.
2. UTILIZATION OF GPS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
Although the quest of science and modern technology as given the human race a lot to be proud of interms of modern day inventions, GPS can today surely labeled as among the very few that have influenced our daily lifestyle by a long marjin. A few examples of its utiliztion from my daily life are narated below to advocate by statement.
(a) Using GPS in tracking/navigation. A few years back a local field exercise was planned by a group of scouts in our college. There were five teams of 6 to 8 members each. They opted a up and down terrain with good sceneic and geographic views and decided to navigate there way from the beginning point to the final rondevow point with in 10 hours. They had to travel a total displacement of 20 kms. Each team was given a two portable GPS for there tracking campain and had been thoroughly bried how to utilize it effectively. Previously when GPS were not available, said activity used to take place with the aid of million degree scale maps, identification of tracks, and prominent landmarks and preliminary theoritical calculation of the traveling paths and routes prior to start of the quest. However the GPS had made life so simple, that for the specific area that was to be traged the starting and end point were fed into the GPS system interms of two way points, the GPS had prefed maps of the whole locality. Therefore it generated automaticaly 3 to 4 different paths that could be followed, along with multiple way points on each track to keep abrest that each team is on the right track while travelling. There fore utilizing this effective tool each team was able to reach its mark wel in time, with less chances of getting lost.
(b) Navigating the path from home to country side in a harzardous weather condition.On a weekend my family decided to go to country side town around 40 Kms away where my grand father lived to spend a family holiday together. Yet to our surprise the day started with an extremely bad weather. The visibility on the roads was less then 200 meters, and we were going into the area after around six months so were not aware of any receint road shifts or constructions carried out in the area. However we decided to still continue with our plan with the help of little technology. I plugged in my GPS with my laptop and downloaded the latest software of the area maps that had been updated on the web last month. So once I installed them in my GPS I had the latest state of ground mapping in my hand held GPS set. I experimented by taking my tracker ourside and even in a weather of dense rain and low visibility it easily catched 4 satelite signals that were sufficient for on road navigation. I further connected my GPS with my car navigation system LCD screen and there it was before my eyes, the best possible route to my grandfathers town with clear satellite imagery to my rescue in the hazardoes weather conditions.
(c) Real time airline navigation. My father works in Eastern sky Jet company, they are a private cargo airline. They have two aircrafts and have GPS systems fitted in them. As a result the company can track there aircrafts independently all the time, as they have aquired the services of a compercial tracking website, that utilize a GPS transmitter to upload the coordinates of an aircraft on the world wide web. Thus using said service, my dad keeps a track of his airline aircrafts by simply watching them in google earth. This indeed is a very effective and modern utilization of the GPS which is also coming in handy with new car navigation and sea vessel navigational systems.
In light of the above stated real time incidents I would like to affirm with conviction that ‘GPS’ is surely a blessing. In todays world, as the land and space seem to be shrinking with increasing number of cars, trains, sea vessels and jets; all moving here and there, across the globe. The GPS stands up as a poised and reliable system of global referencing for all types of travelling and adventure aids. Therefore it is definitely a real time ‘blessing in the open’.